Saturday, August 04, 2012

Mansfield Park Revisited

Mansfield Park Revisited. Joan Aiken. 1985/2005. Sourcebooks. 201 pages.

The sudden and unexpected death of Sir Thomas Bertram, while abroad engaged on business relating to his various properties in the West Indies, could be a cause of nothing but sorrow, dismay, and consternation to the baronet's friends in England.

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Joan Aiken's Mansfield Park Revisited. I do. I love the characters, the story, and most of all the redemption. Susan Price, Fanny's younger sister, is the heroine of Joan Aiken's Mansfield Park Revisited. When the novel opens, Edmund and Fanny are on their way to the West Indies with their youngest child.
Susan's day are soon brightened up by the arrival of two people to the neighborhood. A sadder-but-wiser, Mary Crawford, whose health is in decline, and her ever-faithful brother, Henry. Though Susan never knew either Crawford personally, she can't help but be drawn to them--particularly Mary. She knows the two have history with those she loves best--Fanny, Edward, Tom, etc., but she can't help believing that these two have changed for the better through the years. These two are not seeking society in the neighborhood, just a quiet, peaceful place to simply be.

Aiken is great at relationships, and I definitely enjoyed seeing Susan interact with Mary Crawford, Henry Crawford, Tom Bertram, Lady Bertram, Julia Yates, etc. Readers don't know much about Susan from Austen's novel, but, Aiken did a great job giving her life in this sequel. While readers do know more about Mary and Henry Crawford from Austen's Mansfield Park, I can't help believing that Henry Crawford has been misunderstood until Aiken set the story straight. (I do LOVE Henry Crawford.) Mary's redemption was a beautiful thing as well. Aiken did not rewrite the past--or try to justify it exactly--but she has through circumstance after circumstance brought Mary to a reflective, repentant place and given her an opportunity to blossom into a sensitive, perceptive, loving person. 

I loved every page of this one. I loved spending time with these characters. It was just a wonderful treat.

My first review

Read Mansfield Park Revisited
  • If you love Mansfield Park, if you like Mansfield Park; even if you were bored with it, you may just find something to love in this historical romance
  • If you love Jane Austen
  • If you like historical romance

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Jill said...

I haven't read many of these Austen prequel/sequel/supernatural twists that are so popular these days, but I did read this one years ago, and I loved it. Aiken did her homework, and clearly adores these characters. Glad you enjoyed it too!